It’s true that Italy didn’t exactly successfully overtake much on its own. So, historically, Italy wouldn’t make a very significant world power in 1942, compared to the other five.
However, I totally love the idea of being able to play Italy. I have about six buds I play games with (nerds!), and when we get out A&A only five of us can play.
I don’t know much about the Italian economy of the time, but here’s an idea: give Italy a similar situation as USA. Have them start with very few territories and very little on the board. I’d make two or three territories out of the Italian peninsula (and surrounding), and have them hold most of Italy’s value. If you were going for 20 IPC, you could make it something like… 5ipc, 5ipc, and 6ipc for the capitol.
Then you could price two more territories at 2 each. I’d definitely make Sicily its own territory, worth 2. The United States Rangers went through hell to invade Sicily, and A&A traditionally lumps Sicily in with the entire Italian invasion. That works, but this might be more fun.
For your last territory, I don’t know. Keep asking the history buffs. This is just an idea. Just keep in mind if you seperate Germany into Germany & Italy, you should probably balance out the Axis economy as a whole.
This might make Italy a challenging team to play as. They’d be weak in economy, weak in troops! But if you played with it, I’m sure you could give Italy a strategic point in the game. Like in the old game when Britain’s purpose was simply thorning at Germany’s side, and when ignored, Britain would bring the whole thing down.